Tuesday, June 07, 2005

LÜBECK: It's Town Hall and Churches

You know the drill by now: every altstadt (old town) has its rathaus (town hall) and kirchen (churches). You just can't get past them to do other things until you see them, and that's all there is to it, even if I did save them to the last this time.

Lübeck's TOWN HALL, from 1230, is significant in that it has large holes through its façade (below left) to keep the wind from blowing it over! Because water surrounds the Old Town and it's near the Baltic Sea, it can get very windy! This is also the only town hall we've seen with such a grand outside staircase (from 1594).

There are 6 main churches whose spires outline the skies:
1. The DOM (Cathedral) is Lübeck's oldest church from 1173, tracing back to Henry the Lion (below left); the "triumph cross" inside is dated 1477.

2. MARIENKIRCHE (St. Mary's Church) is on the highest point of the island and is considered the "Grande Dame" among all the churches. It was started in 1250 and is the third largest church in Germany. It has its own astronomical clock inside (memories of Prague!), if you look at the photos.

3. JACOBIKIRCHE (St. James' Church) is the church of sailers and seafarers, built in 1227. Contrary to St. Mary's and St. Peter's, it survived the bomb attack of 1942 without any damage.

4. PETRIKIRCHE (St. Peter's Church) was built in the first half of the 14th century and did sustain damage from bombing during WWII. However, because it doesn't have a congregation, they've not been able to rebuild the interior--just white-washed walls and no furnishings--enough to break your heart! This was the church we could see from our hotel room.

5 and 6. There are 2 other churches worth visiting and for which I have photos, but on a much smaller scale. KATHARINENKIRCHE (St. Katharine's Church) is actually a monastery church of the Franciscan order and therefore has no tower/spire, according to their "rules." Lastly, AEGIDIENKIRCHE (St. Aegidien's Church) is the smallest of the churches and traditionally is the church of the craftsmen and treasurers.

So, there you have it! Lübeck, the Lovely, indeed! We're so glad we saw her.


  1. this is my first visit to your BLOg, and I very much enjoyed the tour of Lubeck. Perhaps one day I will get there.


  2. How fun to see your at my site, Ted. Thanks. I'm quite eager to see your new photos. Isn't travelling grand!